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RBI Governor to Appear Before Parliamentary Panel Today on Demonetisation, May be Asked About Rift With Govt

The parliamentary panel is led by Congress leader Veerappa Moily and includes former PM Manmohan Singh.


Updated:November 27, 2018, 5:19 PM IST

New Delhi: RBI governor Urjit Patel will be making another appearance before a parliamentary panel on finance on Tuesday where he will have to explain and field queries about demonetisation and its perceived intended benefits.

Patel will also face questions on the Reserve Bank of India. The parliamentary panel, led by senior Congress leader Verrappa Moily, will seek his response on the central bank’s recent differences with the government over mainly two topics, that is, if governance reforms are long due at RBI and if the central bank is so over-capitalised that it needs to part reserves with the government. If so, how to decide on the quantum of this surplus, if a new and less stringent method of calculation is required.

The parliament panel, which includes former PM and economist Manmohan Singh, will put pertinent questions to the governor to know the exact position of the central bank on these issues. Singh had recently said that the relations between the finance ministry and the RBI had hit a low. He has also been a strong and vocal critic of demonetisation.

The RBI had, in its annual report, said that demonetised currency amounting to Rs 15.3 lakh crore had returned to banks, which was over 99 per cent of the demonetised currency in total.

The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance will also take up various other issues apart from the stand-off with the government on issues like NPA status of the banks, if the surge of NPAs could be arrested following IBC resolutions and PCA restrictions aimed at checking the bad asset quality, and the state of the Indian economy in general.

The RBI governor is expected to brief the panel on the state of the economy vis-à-vis growth numbers, inflation forecast and its current range, reforms in the central bank governance that have given government and external and independent directors a greater voice on the board, PCA banks corrective measures and the results thereof, the global norms on central bank reserves sharing and, of course demonetisation, one of the panel members said.

The committee has been deliberating on the demonetisation issue for almost two years after its announcement on November 8, 2016.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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